Tag

Nigeria

Browsing

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie wrote an article titled “Nigeria Is Murdering Its Citizens”, which was published by the New York Times on Wednesday, October 21, 2020.

In the Op-Ed, she speaks on the recent happenings in Nigeria: the necessity of the #EndSARS movement, the peaceful protest, Nigeria’s political culture being “steeped in state-sponsored thuggery”, and the killings at Lekki toll gate.

“I think of their families brutally plunged into the terrible abyss of grief, made more terrible by the knowledge that their loved ones were killed by their country. And for what? Because they peacefully asked to be allowed to live”, she writes.

Here are excerpts from the article:

For years, the name SARS hung in the air here in Nigeria like a putrid fog. SARS, which stood for Special Anti-Robbery Squad, was supposed to be the elite Nigerian police unit dedicated to fighting crime, but it was really a moneymaking terror squad with no accountability. SARS was random, vicious, vilely extortionist. SARS officers would raid bars or stop buses on the road and arbitrarily arrest young men for such crimes as wearing their hair in dreadlocks, having tattoos, holding a nice phone or a laptop, driving a nice car. Then they would demand large amounts of money as “bail.”

SARS officers once arrested my cousin at a beer parlor because he arrived driving a Mercedes. They accused him of being an armed robber, ignored the work ID cards he showed them, took him to a station where they threatened to photograph him next to a gun and claim he was a robber, unless he paid them a large sum of money. My cousin is one of the fortunate few who could pay an amount large enough for SARS, and who was released. He is not one of the many tortured, or the many disappeared, like Chijioke Iloanya.

In 2012 Mr. Iloanya was 20 when SARS officers arrested him at a child dedication ceremony in Anambra State. He had committed no crime. His family tried to pay to have him released but were asked to bring more money than they had. So they sold their property to raise money and went back to the SARS office but Mr. Iloanya was no longer there. They have not seen him since. Photos of him on social media show a young man, still almost a child, with sensitive eyes and a future waiting for him. There are so many families like the Iloanyas who are caught between pain and hope, because their sons and brothers were arrested by SARS and they fear the worst, knowing the reputation of SARS, but still they dare to hope in the desperate way we humans do for those we love.

There have been End SARS protests, since 2016, but October 2020 was different, a tipping point had been reached. The protests signaled the overturning of convention — the protesters insisted on not having a central leadership, it was social rather than traditional media that documented the protests, and, in a country with firm class divisions, the protests cut across class. The protests were peaceful, insistently peaceful, consistently peaceful. They were organized mostly on social media by young Nigerians, born in the 1980s and 1990s, a disaffected generation with the courage to act. Their bravery is inspiring. They speak to hope and to the possibility of what Nigeria could become. Of those involved in the organization, none is more remarkable than a group called Feminist Coalition, set up by Nigerian feminists, who have raised more than $180,000, and have provided legal aid, security and food to protesters.

But the Nigerian government tried to disrupt their fund-raising. The Nigerian government has reportedly accused Flutterwave, the company through which the donation link was created, of accepting funds from terrorists, even though it is clear that Feminist Coalition’s members are not terrorists. Their fund-raising link suddenly stopped working. Still, they persisted and began to raise money through Bitcoin.

From the capital city of Abuja to the small town of Ogbomosho, state agents attacked and beat up protesters. The police killed a few and detained many others until social media and video evidence forced them to release some of the detained. Still, the protesters persisted.

The Lagos State government accused protesters of violence, but it defied common sense that a protest so consistently committed to peaceful means would suddenly turn around and become violent. Protesters know they have everything to lose in a country like Nigeria where the mere hint of violence gives free reign to murderous security forces. Nigeria’s political culture is steeped in state-sponsored thuggery. Politicians routinely hire thugs to cause chaos, especially during elections, and many people believed that thugs had been hired to compromise the protests. On social media, videos that attested to this — of thugs getting into SUVs that belonged to the government, of hardened and hungry young men admitting they were paid to join the protests and become violent. Still, the protesters persisted.

At about noon on Oct. 20, 2020, about two weeks into the protests, the Lagos State governor suddenly announced a curfew that would begin at 4 p.m., which gave people in a famously traffic-clogged state only a few hours to get home and hunker down. I feared that a curfew would provide an excuse for state violence, that in the name of restoring order, the army and police would unleash violence. Still, I was unprepared for the carnage that followed at the Lekki Toll Gate, the most prominent in Lagos. Government officials reportedly cut the security cameras, then cut off the bright floodlights, leaving only a darkness heavy with foreboding. The protesters were holding Nigerian flags, sitting on the ground, some kneeling, some singing the national anthem, peaceful and determined.

Read full article on New York times here

Over the last week, a wave of protests spread across Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy and home to over 200 million people, about 60% of whom are less than 25 years old.

The protests were sparked by rising police brutality, specifically that of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigerian Police Force, that disproportionately targeted the youth, often on trumped-up charges and typically leading to harassment, torture, rape, unlawful arrests, and extrajudicial killings.

It is thought that the groundswell of support for the movement could soon be shifting towards demanding accountability from the nation’s legislators, who are rumoured to be the highest paid in the world, and from there expanding to clamour for good governance in the nation as a whole. Let it be clear that we are not just taking this stance against SARS; we are making a statement against bad governance.

The protests, led largely by the nation’s youth, have attracted the attention of the international press with the hashtag #EndSARS trending across all social media platforms for several days in a row. Observers have commended the peacefulness and the organisational competence of the protesters, likening their tactics to those used by the Hong Kong protesters in 2019. Some have gone as far as to liken the October 2020 protests to the Arab Spring of 2011, calling it the start of the ‘Nigerian Spring’.

Here are six reasons why the October 2020 protests have been so successful so far:

Egalitarian

The movement has fiercely resisted the traditional leadership structure, and has, instead, opted for a decentralised style of leadership. Youths from different walks of life have contributed their skills and time into making the protests successful and no one person or role is seen as more important or less valuable.

But having no “leader” is not the same as having no “leadership”. There are several individuals and organisations spearheading different aspects of the protest, but none of them claim ownership of the movement and have eschewed calls to act as spokespersons for the protest. In sharp contrast to the Occupy Nigeria protests of 2012, there are no celebrity leaders or appointed heads, and many see this as a direct jab at the many NLC and ASSU leaders who after being called to Abuja to “negotiate” are alleged to have abandoned the cause.

Members of the Nigerian tech industry, which has been disproportionately targeted by SARS, have mooted the idea of creating a Nigerian version of Reddit where the Nigerian youth can participate in true egalitarian decision making via online polls. This will be similar to the LIHKG platform used by the Hong Kong protesters in 2019.

Organisation

One of the hallmarks of the protests has been the perceived excellence with which the youth have organised and the agility of the collective response to meet the operational, logistical, and strategic challenges of sustaining a nationwide protest. Within a few short days, the protesters have organised security, media, welfare, legal aid, emergency medical services, and refreshments for the protesters on the streets, while also ensuring a steady supply of mobile data, commonly known as “recharge card credit” to sustain the online protests.

Crowdfunding

Individuals and organisations across the country and in the diaspora have funded the uprising, sending in donations to help provide for the protests. But it has not only been money; many service providers, restaurants, bakeries, confectioners and bottling companies, to name a few, have turned up at the protests with free merchandise, food, and drinks for the protesters, each one of them seeing it as their civic duty to do something to reclaim the nation. In a country where billions of Naira are allocated for projects that are never completed, there has been a meticulous accounting for every dollar spent during the protest.

Technology and Connectivity

The use of technology is widely touted as a major ingredient in the success of the protests. Social media networking has been used to drive online protests. Slogans tweeted by protesters at home encourage the street protesters, and messages sent via instant messaging provide vital information and security updates from one protest site to others. GPS-based location tracking is being used to trace protesters who have been arrested, aerial drone photography is being used to capture unprecedented images of the crowd, and cryptocurrency is emerging as the major stream of the crowdfunding effort.

Community

Protesters, both online and on the street, fundraisers, organisers, lawyers, doctors, civil rights activists, journalists, photographers, and so on are all working in unity of purpose. The movement has created a unique sense of camaraderie, the kind only formed between people who share a common trauma. It is said that this generation of youth have grown up never knowing the “good days” fondly spoken of by the older generations, and that they are determined to bring change to the nation, one demand at a time.

Women

What do the English Suffragettes of the late 19th century, the Aba Women’s riot of 1929, and the October 2020 protests have in common? Women! Some of the most powerful voices online and on the streets, and some of the most prolific organisers behind the scenes, have been women. Buoyed by a burgeoning African flavour of the feminist ideology, the female input in the success of the protests cannot be overemphasised.

Source: Bellanaija

On this episode of “Toke Moments“, Toke Makinwa is sharing her protest experience and describing the different types of people you see at a protest.

She says,

What a week, what a season, what a moment….. What a time to be alive. The protest against Police brutality in Nigeria has put Nigeria yet again in the centre of major world wide conversations and I am super proud of every young Nigerian for pushing for change. The #EndSars #EndPolicebrutality #EndSwat #Sarsmustend movement is on going and you can be a part of it too. the History books will definitely not forget this generation. I went out on the streets to protest and the energy was out of the world, watch my protest experience and share yours too in the comment section.

Watch the video:

Aisha Raheem-Bolarinwa ,  co-founder of Farmz2U, a digital platform that prevents food waste by helping farmers plan their crops.

Aisha made headlines in 2019 after she made the shortlist for the 2020 edition of the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation. This September, she was announced as one of the runners-up.

How Farmz2U works is that farmers tell the application how much land they have, what crops they want to grow, what their budget is, and even their target profit. Farmz2U then calculates how many seedlings the farmer should get, what fertiliser and pesticides to use, and provides training guides and videos for certain crops. Farmers can also find out where there is demand for their product, track orders and invoices, and find storage locations. Farmz2U even allows users to access financing, insurance, and receive weather reports and warnings.

Aisha, a strategy consultant, developed Farmz2U after a health scare prompted her to eat more healthily, which in turn exposed her to the challenges faced by the food industry. She became determined to reduce food waste and improve the nutritional intake of other people.

Farmz2U has already partnered with two commercial farmers as well as with the Nigerian Ministry of Agriculture’s farmer support programme to access its network of smallholder farmers.

Farmz2U is working to create another app that will include a nutrition management platform for health-conscious consumers who can create meal plans and shopping lists. Users will be able to buy fresh produce directly from farmers who are registered on the Farmz2U farm management platform, creating additional markets for local farmers.

Aisha is an Economics graduate from Queen Mary University of London and she cut her teeth in business consulting and strategy in a variety of firms in London.

Apart from the Prize for Engineering Innovation, Aisha’s Farmz2U received a £5,000 grant from  ShellLivewire in 2016.

Aisha is helping farmers farm better with tailored agricultural expertise and access to market and we’re rooting for her!

A weird drama ensued at what was supposed to be a secret wedding between a married man and his probably ignorant bride as the former’s wife stormed the venue with her children and disrupted the ceremony.

“He even slept with me this morning!” – Woman storms hubby's secret wedding with children
“He even slept with me this morning!” – Woman storms hubby’s secret wedding with children

An interesting video shows her invading the church auditorium unexpectedly with a baby strapped on her back, at the time the bride and the supposed groom were standing before the altar and a huge crowd of attendees to receive the pastor’s blessing.

According to the woman, the supposed groom was her husband with whom she had children. She went on to allege that the man even spent the last night with her and the children, so she was surprised to see him tying the knot with another woman the next morning.

She added that she and her husband didn’t have any issues and they had not separated either, so she was taken aback to have learned and confirmed it for herself that he was getting married to another woman.

Source: Pulse ng

The past few days, protests have been happening in every state, city and town in Nigeria, and Nigerians in the diaspora are also joining in the fight for change.

To show solidarity, various celebrities have joined protests or voiced their support for protestors on their online platforms.

Celebrities from Kanye West, Naomi Campbell, Viola Davis and Trey Songz are speaking up, taking action against the #EndSars and police brutality movement happening in Nigeria and across the world. These stars that we know and love have shown that they’re willing to stand up for what’s right and that the future of Nigeria and all of its citizens matters to them.

The horrifying story of Nigerians, especially the youths in the hands of SARS is sparking protests around, and other countries around the world. Many stars are using their social media platforms to speak out and share their emotions about the ongoing movement.

This is evidence that your voice is being heard all over the world.

Scroll down to view your faves joining the protests.

Yvonne Orji

 

Jidenna

 

Jackie Aina

 

Naomi Campbell

 

Viola Davis

 

Ms Tina Lawson (Beyoncé’s Mum)

 

Kirk Franklin

 

Diddy

 

Stef London

 

 

 

 

Kanye West

 

Trey Songz

 

 

Chance the Rapper

 

Nasty C

 

City Girls

 

Estelle

 

Cardi B

 

Jennie Jenkins

Source: Bellanaija

Please note that every startup’s story is different. However, I’d like you to remember this: “If your products or services are high-quality, solves your target market’s problems and reflects your passion, the probability of achieving a profitable business is high.”

COVID-19 crisis has brought a change in the economic landscape. Like you, a lot of people are thinking of either starting a new business online or pivoting from what they used to do.

Do you have a great idea and want to become a business owner in these times? Just before you dive into it, are you sure that your idea is viable in the market? Before investing in a new business, the most important step to take is to assess your idea’s viability.

From my experience, these are just markers and not the general rules. Today, I’ve compiled a list of idea verification questions you must ask yourself to assess your business’ chances of success.

 

Have you done a full self-analysis?

 

Market research doesn’t have much significance if you are not well equipped to meet the demand of the market. This is why self-analysis is important. The questions you should ask must help you dig deeper than the surface and help you develop a plan to build your business as a solution to your target customer’s pain point. Additionally, asking these questions and getting the answers to them would help lay your business foundation.

Below are the examples of questions you should ask yourself before you start talking to others about your business:

  • Why do I want to start a business?
  • What problem does my business solve?
  • Where will I find my target customers?
  • How do I identify them online?
  • What digital skills do I have?
  • What are my business goals?

One go-to method I use and recommend is to write down the answers in a book or journal. This will help solidify your thoughts and serve as blueprints for laying the foundation of your business.

Do You Know Your Competitors?

Every business has competitors, irrespective of whether they are direct or indirect. There are people and brands who have built a strong digital presence long before this crisis, so naturally, customers will trust them.

Identifying your competitors would help you know what they are doing and how your business can stand out from the crowd. Looking at what other businesses in your niche or industry are doing will give you valuable insights into how to run your proposed business without suffering from losses.

A smart business owner should understand other businesses’ strategies and not get too caught up in what its competitors are doing.

Have You Evaluated Your Social Capital?

I’m sure that we all heard the saying, “It takes money to make money”. While the phrase might sound cliché, its meaning still holds till today. But online, social capital built from trust and proof are the currency you will need to build a successful digital brand.

Most times, you’ll use a combination of your personal stories and collaborations with trusted brands to convince customers to buy from you. You must create a digital sales funnel that highlights how the money will be spent and marketing strategies for generating revenue, despite the current times.

Have You Analysed the Pulse of the Market?

One of the best ways to validate your business idea is via your target market. How do you achieve this? The first step is to define or identify your target market. Your target market are people who will be interested in what you have to sell.  After identifying them, the next step is to conduct effective market analysis on a small group (also known as a focus group).

Check out some of the ways you can test your business idea with target customers:

Have a focus group

A focus group consists of a small section of your identified target market that use your products or services and provide feedback. Using focus groups, conducting surveys and interviews show what consumers think about your business idea before you invest in it.

Ask groups on social media

Thanks to the internet and social media, you can seek validation or get people’s opinion about your business idea. From Facebook  groups to WhatsApp and even Telegram, social media practically puts your target market at your fingertips, you can conduct a survey or run a poll to assess people’s general perceptions and if they think you should do anything differently.

Set up a crowdfunding page

If necessary, crowdfunding pages are also great for determining your business idea’s viability. Crowdfunding websites offer more than just investors. You can also gain valuable reactions, observations, and advice from like-minded individuals. Bonus: You might be lucky to find someone who wants to invest in your idea.

Using small groups to test your business idea determines consumer’s impressions about what you have to sell. If the small market tests are successful, there’s a good possibility that your business idea will be accepted by a larger audience.

How do you really know if your business idea is viable?

Unfortunately, while there’s no one way to determine a business success, careful planning, excellent marketing strategies and enough capital to get the business off the ground would go a long way.

Please note that every startup’s story is different. However, I’d like you to remember this: “If your products or services are high-quality, solves your target market’s problems and reflects your passion, the probability of achieving a profitable business is high.”

One last thing, ask yourself these questions:

  • Desirability (target market) — will customers want it badly to buy it?
  • Feasibility — can I build/execute it?
  • Viability —will the profit I will make from it be greater than the expenditure I used to create or build it?

In the last few years, the Amazing Amazon Initiative has empowered over 20, 000 Nigerian women and school children through collaborations with corporate and government entities.

The Lagos-based women-centric organisation has been providing financial literacy, empowerment and child protection expertise to women in different states in Nigeria.

It recently launched a logistic and delivery arm, Amazon Delivery, with proceeds from the business aimed at providing help for women and children in need.

“Proceeds from our Amazon Delivery help our NGO to look after and empower victims of abuse and violence,” the founder of the Amazing Amazon Initiative and chief executive officer of the Amazon Delivery Mercy Makinde said.

“We cannot always rely on donors to give us all the money that we need every time. Of course, we need donations, but starting Amazon Delivery also offers a practical way of helping our women see how they can start their businesses. There are a lot of women out there who need our help.”

Amazon Delivery initially started with delivery in Lagos and its environs. It, however, scaled its operations to include nationwide and international deliveries.

“We realised that there are a lot of people in Nigeria who want to send different items to their friends, families and associates outside Nigeria. We plugged ourselves into that space even though there are big players there,” Makinde said.

“But we offer our customers competitive rates and excellent services by leveraging on technology. We ship to UAE, Australia, China, the United Kingdom and the US.”

The business is not without its challenges. Makinde, a seasoned entrepreneur herself, said her team is motivated to see that whatever success the delivery service has enjoyed since it started operations in May is not eroded.

“We owe that to the women and children that Amazing Amazon Initiative provides help to directly or indirectly,” Makinde said.

Oluremi TejumoJesu, also known as TenaciousTejumoJesu is a child of God and a Mindset Fixer, she helps individuals move their minds from average and mediocre to positive and excellent.

She has a coaching academy, Discovery Point With TenaciousTejumoJesu Academy,and this offers Coaching classes on Self Esteem,Purpose Discovery, Relationship with God and fellow humans.

She is the author of the book “You Are Enough.” She is also the Lead Volunteer of Blissful Vines Network.

She is also the CEO of Emerald Empire (a catering and event planning hub).

TenaciousTejumoJesu loves meeting people, cooking, reading, inspiring the world around her and leveraging on experiences.

She shares her Ruby Girl story with Aduragbemi Akintepede

1. Let’s meet you. Who is Tejumojesu?

TejumoJesu is a child of God who loves going about His Business. She is the second child in her family and she believes in ORIGINALITY and REBRANDING oneself as an individual.

2. What is Mindset Revamp?

Mindset Revamp is one of the programs from Discovery Point With TenaciousTejumoJesu Academy, and it aims to help individuals reset their mindset and also break some mindset myths that has been naturally built over a long period of time.

3. When did you realize your gift of revamping minds?

I realized this gift last year, precisely in the month of December.

4. You published a book titled “You Are Enough” what is the story behind it?

The story behind it is that of a young girl who suffered from low self esteem which affected her sense of identity. And she was able to overcome when she realized that she is enough just the way she is.
And that young girl is ME, TenaciousTejumoJesu

5. What does your book entail?

It is a true life story of how I struggled with low self esteem and what I did to overcome that defect.
I was very vulnerable with my readers as I gave personal examples from experiences.

6. What has the Covid-19 pandemic taught you?

It has taught me to go all out to add more knowledge to myself, it has also taught me COMPLETE TRUST IN GOD.

7. As a caterer and event planner how has the pandemic affected your business?

This pandemic didn’t affect my business, as I quickly switched to digitalization as soon as I noticed that the whole world virtually went online.
And it has since then been useful.

8. How do you relax or unwind from your busy schedule?

I take out time to REST, see a movie and spend time with my family.

9. As a Mindset coach what are the major challenges young people face in Nigeria and what is the way out?

All the challenge starts from the mind, and the only way out is to be concious and intentional about your thought pattern.

10. How do you juggle coaching, event planning and other activities you’re involved in?

I try to balance everything. And when I see that everything is overwhelming, I switch into “observation mode.”

11. *Mention 3 women who inspire you and why?

My mum
Chichi Ogbonnaya
Tolulope AkinbinuThey have been able to successfully groom me, and show me that as a woman, you can attain the greatest height and still be balanced!

12. *Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?

Married with two children.
Winner of the Forbes under 30 successful women.
Established in my coaching career and own a restaurant.

13. *If you were given the opportunity to address a group of girls five years younger than you, what will be your advice to them?

You can be whatever you put your mind to, you can be successful and no one can stop you from being the total and complete woman except you.